Register now to Spend a Summer Day at Penn State!

The official start of summer is just a few days away and we’re gearing up for Spend a Summer Day, the largest event that Undergraduate Admissions does all year. We will welcome nearly 10,000 visitors to University Park over the course of five days – we just about take over campus!

With such a large turnout, we really pull out all the stops for these events. Those who Spend a Summer Day logoattend have the opportunity to meet with faculty and academic advisers from nearly all of our majors, meet with Housing and Student Aid, and take a campus tour on what will hopefully be a beautiful summer day.

Here is just some of the feedback we received from students who attended the event last year:

“This was the perfect way to spend a day…visiting, exploring, and imagining what it would be like to be a student at Penn State. I wish I could skip senior year and attend college at Penn State this fall. “

“I had such a great day learning more about Penn State and all that it has to offer. Spend a Summer Day showed me that there are so many incredible opportunities here. I can’t wait to visit again!”

“Penn State went from the bottom of my list to the top in one day. Being part of this community is my ideal educational and social experience.”

This year’s Spend a Summer Day events will be held July 25, July 28, July 31, August 1, and August 4. Visit to learn more or to register.

We hope to see you on campus!

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Happy graduation!

We spend a lot of time talking to high school seniors and their families, which means we’re very aware that the season for high school graduations is upon us. Congratulations, #classof2014. Around the country many of you are celebrating the end of one chapter while anticipating the start of another.

high school graduation

Emily Kuskowski, a member of the class of 2014 at State College Area High School and the Penn State class of 2018, celebrates graduation with her mom.











We also know how hard you all have worked to make the most of your high school experience and to prep yourself for college life. It’s no small feat.

So, to all the high school grads out there, Congratulations!

And to all those who helped them get there (parents, we’re looking at YOU), Great job!

Now, go enjoy your summer.

diving in




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Class of 2018 New Student Orientation

We’re excited! Why? Because New Student Orientation (NSO) for #psu2018 began this week.

Though it is summer time at our campuses and most of our students are off, we love the energy and liveliness our new students bring during this otherwise quiet time.

If you haven’t gone through your orientation yet, we want to give you a bit of information about what to expect. New Student Orientation runs all summer from May through July.

  1. When you accept your offer of admission, the NSO coordinators will send you a postcard with further instructions.
  2. In general terms, the instructions on the postcard are to complete your Educational Planning Survey and ALEKS Math Assessment. Though it might seem scary to take a test before you even begin college, please know that your results will have no impact on your academic record as a student. Instead, we use the results of the math assessment to help you schedule the best courses for your first semester. It is very important that you complete these two things before you come so you can truly benefit from speaking to your adviser while at NSO.
  3. Next, you receive another postcard (have you ever gotten so much mail before!?). If you are a University Park student, your postcard will indicate your assigned NSO date. If you are starting at another campus, your postcard will have instructions on how to register for NSO at your campus. Note that the registration process may vary slightly from campus to campus.

Okay! You’ve completed 1, 2 & 3 above, now what? Well, now you come to campus!

New Student Orientation is a two-day experience at University Park, and one day at the other locations. Since the program can be different at each campus, I won’t go into too much detail, but the general things you can expect are:

  • Meeting a lot of really cool people and starting to build your network of friends at Penn State
  • Talking to an academic adviser about your career plans
  • Taking care of basic things like getting your ID card and learning where to ask for what
  • Getting a glimpse of what your life will be like
  • Learning about Penn State and your campus
  • Reading this year’s Penn State Reads book under your new favorite tree

If you do want more details, you can visit the New Student Orientation website and select your campus. For now, we’ll leave you with some pictures of your fellow #psu2018 classmates enjoying NSO at University Park!

If you have questions at any point, this is the place to go.

If you have questions at any point, this is the place to go.

Taking care of important student business is the first step.

Taking care of important student business is the first step.

Welcoming Students

Friendly faces are the first thing you see at Penn State!

Welcome Session

New students buzzing with energy at the Welcome Session held at Alumni Hall.

NSO Resource Fair

Students and parents finding out more about key programs at the resource fair.



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Visit Penn State this summer

With only a few weeks of school left for most high school students, now is a great time to start planning your college visits. Penn State offers lot of options for you to tour our 20 undergraduate campuses.

Sure, visiting colleges may not be high on your list of summer activities, but taking a few road trips this summer to see the schools in which you are interested is an important part of the college search process. Websites, brochures, social media … they all help share parts of the college experience (we work hard to make sure they do!). But, without visiting a campus, how do you get a real sense of whether a school is the right fit for you?

So check your calendar and compare it to the visit calendar on our website and sign up for a visit at any one of our 20 undergraduate campuses. Our prospective student visits introduce you to the Penn State experience, answer common questions regarding the admissions process, and provide you with a tour of campus.

In addition to our normal visit schedule, all of our campuses host Spend a Summer Day events throughout the summer. These open houses are designed to introduce the exciting opportunities available at Penn State, while allowing students and families to explore campus and learn more about the admissions process. Visit our website to learn more about the Spend a Summer Day events available at all of our campuses.

We hope to see you this summer!

- Jenna

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Spend a Summer Day: Penn State’s Open House Visits

SASD-Tour-GuidesAs the semester winds down here at Penn State, we are busy welcoming a number of prospective students to campus for visits. We know that some of you do your “college tours” in the spring, but Penn State also offers you the chance to visit campus all summer long!

While we provide a full schedule of visits at University Park in June and July, we hope you will consider attending our all-day, open house visits known as Spend a Summer Day. Available at all campuses across the state of Pennsylvania, Spend a Summer Day gives prospective students the chance to explore campus more extensively than a standard visit, with opportunities to meet faculty, take tours, gather admissions information, and more.

Registration for Spend a Summer Day will open in mid-May. Please visit our website for more information on the how to register and the dates of events at all campuses. If you want to “save the date” for a Spend a Summer Day visit at University Park, they are scheduled for July 25, July 28, July 31, August 1, and August 4.

So whether you decide to visit for Spend a Summer Day or one of our other visits, we look forward to seeing you on campus this summer. Just remember – plan early! Our visits, especially those on Mondays and Fridays, tend to fill up quickly.

See you at Penn State!

Students attend Spend a Summer Day at Penn State Beaver.

Students attend Spend a Summer Day at Penn State Beaver.

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Counting down

You know it’s close. May 1. The deadline for you to let us know where you’ll be next year. (Penn State, of course). There’s no doubt it’s a big decision. And yet, no matter what you Calendardecide, it’s easy to have doubts as you try to imagine your life this time next year. A lot of change is guaranteed in the next twelve months.

Our intern, Rachelle, remembers the doubts she had; read about them here.

We excited to hear from you, #psu2018!

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The Details on Deferring Admission

We know that April is a tough month for many of you, as you try to narrow down your college choices and select the perfect school for you. Even if you only have a few on the list, it can be a stressful process!

In addition to the college decision, some of you might be weighing different options for the upcoming school year, and those opportunities might change when you begin your journey as a Penn Stater. Luckily, most times, students do have the option to defer their offer of admission to start later than their session of acceptance.

Deferring admission basically means that you still want to come to Penn State, but you want to wait a little longer before enrolling. The good news is that we consider requests to defer admission for one full year from the original starting semester. Please call us to discuss your options.

Deferring admission allows students time to do other things before enrolling at Penn State as a full-time student. Whether you want to work, travel, volunteer, or take advantage of another opportunity, check out Jenna’s post from last year for the basic information on how to defer admission.

Every application, every student, every reason for deferring admission is different – which is why we ask that you contact us to discuss the process and your options (especially before you commit to whatever you have planned to do during your “time off” from Penn State). Please go to and send us an email or call us at 814-865-5471.

Regardless of when you end up starting, we are excited that you will be joining the Penn State family!

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There are only 17 days until May 1. May 1. When all colleges across the country ask students to commit to a school for next year. Only 17 days to decide the rest of your life. No pressure, right?

We know it does feel like a lot of pressure but take a deep breath and know it’s all going to work out fine, especially if you accept your Penn State offer. You will be committing to joining one of the premier universities in the nation, a school that can provide you limitless opportunity and prepare you well for life after graduation, all while offering an incredible student experience.

If you don’t want to take our word for it, talk with some of our students. We have a chat for Accepted Students scheduled April 22 and one specifically for international students on April 24.

So, what are you waiting for? Accept that offer and start repping #psu2018.

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Entrepreneurs – check out IST Start-up Week!

IST-Start-upYou don’t have to be a student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) to appreciate this event – any student interested in entrepreneurship and innovation can learn something from the wealth of knowledge that presenters share during this week-long event.

IST Start-up Week is an exciting showcase that features dozens of speakers each year, many of which are alumni, who serve as inspiration to Penn State students and encourage them to think more broadly about their career paths. Not only do students learn about the impressive start-up initiatives of the speakers, but they learn about the successes and failures they experienced along their paths. This event offers students the opportunity to engage with these successful innovators in meaningful ways, while hearing about their stories of determination and inspiration.

To learn more about this exciting event, visit the Start-up Week website (which incidentally, was created with Weebly, a company established by 2007 IST grad David Rusenko) or follow the hashtag #ISTstartup on Twitter. Be sure to check out the coverage or watch current and past sessions on their stream!

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After accepting your offer: Info on New Student Orientation

So many first-year students, whether they have just accepted their offer or are planning to in the coming weeks, want to know: what’s next?

First, welcome to Penn State! Now the business of becoming an enrolled student must begin. A few weeks after you accept your offer, you will get a postcard in the mail about the first part of New Student Orientation (NSO): the Educational Planning Survey and the ALEKS Math Assessment. You must complete both of these items online to continue with the orientation process.

The Educational Planning Survey is a tool that your academic adviser will use to better understand your educational goals. This survey will ultimately help your adviser during the scheduling process, as you plan your first semester classes. The ALEKS Math Assessment is used to determine your placement in math (and chemistry, if necessary for your major) at Penn State. Upon completion of the assessment, you will see your resulting math placement level, which is used during the scheduling process. If you are not happy with your original performance, you have the opportunity to retake the assessment.

After completing both of these items, you will be contacted by your campus of admission regarding the in-person orientation program at that campus. At University Park, this in-person program is a two-day visit that incorporates an overnight stay in one of the residence halls. Other Penn State campuses offer one-day orientation programs. At these programs students should expect to take care of some of the details of becoming a Penn State student, like getting a Penn State ID card, while also discussing their future academic plan and coursework with staff at that campus.

If you have any questions about NSO or any part of the orientation process, visit the orientation website to learn more or contact their office. We are so excited that you have decided to join the Penn State family, and we look forward to seeing you on campus this summer for orientation!

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